The whole female assassin thing has been done before in films like La Femme Nikita and every other Angelina Jolie movie, and that lady is a dude was of course popularized by The Crying Game, but the new miniseries Hit & Miss combines the two in a way that is shocking, violent and, dare we say, touching.
Chloe Sevigny, who plays the transgendered assassin Mia, gets most of the credit for the show’s success. Sevigny is always bewitching in her roles, whether she is playing an aloof NYC teen in Kids or a polygamous sister wife in Big Love, and manages to infuse Mia with the perfect balance of emotion and, for lack of a better word, balls.
The series opens with Mia completing a job, before heading home to shower and endure an intense workout. It would appear Sevigny went through the same training as well as the actress looks unbelievably fit and toned. Mia’s isolationist world is turned upside down however when she learns that she fathered a son years earlier, and that the boy’s mother will soon die of cancer.
This sends Mia on a journey from the grimy streets of Manchester to the vast nowhere of Northern England. Arriving too late, Mia comes upon the son she never knew she had, and his three half-siblings, all living without parental supervision in a rundown farmhouse.
Having been named the children’s legal guardian, Mia stays, and with time slowly wins the children over. Everyone seems to take her transition relatively well too, something that is no doubt aided by her ability to kick the living shit out of a mouthy and heartless male landlord.
So Mia begins her new double life as guardian by day and assassin by night, making the jaunt back and forth to Manchester to complete jobs. It certainly pays the bills and cash jobs are always best.
Director Paul Abbott, who is known for the popular British series Shameless, does an amazing job invoking the mood and feel of Mia’s two different world. The quiet open space of Northern England juxtaposes nicely with the dark and claustrophobic Manchester, whose only open space seems to be Mia’s empty city loft. He is also particularly good at creating believable relationships between the children and their less than ideal guardian, something he also did to great affect in Shameless.
It remains to be seen if the series, airing on DirecTV, can stick to this level or if the writing will remain on par with Sevigny’s acting abilities, but for the time being there are very few things one could watch on televison that are any better.
Don’t believe us? Check out the first episode for free here.